CANAANITES

"CANAANITES" (Heb. כְּנַעֲנִים; kenaʾanim), slightly derisory name given to a small group of Jewish poets and artists in Israel who began to act as a group in 1942, publishing pamphlets and booklets under the name "The Committee for the Formation of the Hebrew Youth." At the end of the Mandatory period and in the early years of statehood, they developed a political and cultural ideology aimed at evolving a new "Hebrew" nation – as opposed to a "Jewish" one – consisting of native-born Israelis, including Moslems and Christians (provided they regarded themselves as "Hebrews", and not Arabs, but without requiring them to change their religion), and of immigrants who wished to join the Hebrew nation. The "Land of the Hebrews" (Heb. Ereẓ Ever), as against "The Land of Israel" (Heb. Ereẓ Yisrael; Ereẓ Israel), would extend from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates Basin. The historiosophical basis for this concept was the rejection of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim chain of tradition in the history of the "Land of the Hebrews," and a return to a consciousness of the ethnic groups who inhabited the area prior to the appearance of Judaism (and consequently prior to Christianity and Islam). The initiator and leader of this movement was the poet yonatan ratosh (Uriel Halperin-Shelaḥ), and its chief supporters included the poet aharon amir and the writer binyamin tammuz . The differences and contrasts between the generation of locally born "sabras" and their immigrant parents led them to hope that their teachings would fall on fertile ground and that they might succeed in "molding" the younger generation. The group continued activities after 1948, publishing a periodical, Alef, which appeared until 1953. Ideas of the "Canaanite" type continued to be mooted in the literary quarterly Keshet, edited by Aharon Amir, mainly in articles by A.G. Ḥoron (Gurevitch), considered to be a forerunner of the "Canaanite" already in the late 1930s. Some of the "Canaanite" ideas reappeared in a modified form in the "Semitic Action" group, founded by uri avnery and nathan yellin-mor , which, in journals such as Ha-Olam ha-Zeh and Etgar, advocated a distinction between the concepts of "Hebrew" and "Jew," separation from the Jewish Diaspora, and rapprochement with the Palestinian Arabs, in order to create a federation between them and Israel. However, the "Canaanites" of the Ratosh school did not aim at a federation between the two nations, but wanted to create a new "Hebrew" nation, combining Arab and Jew and abolishing their previous national affiliations. They therefore did not recognize "Semitic Action." The "Canaanites" made no perceptible political impression, but they left their mark on Hebrew poetry, reviving and enriching archaic Hebrew and eliminating later Aramaic and Diaspora influences. In 1969 the group renewed its activities advocating mainly the establishment of a network of Hebrew-language schools for the entire non-Jewish population of the Israel-held territories as well as their conscription into the Israel army. The group now adopted the nickname given it from the outside and termed itself "The Canaanites." (Binyamin Eliav)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Canaanites —    The descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham. Migrating from their original home, they seem to have reached the Persian Gulf, and to have there sojourned for some time. They thence spread to the west, across the mountain chain of Lebanon to the… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Canaanites —    In ancient times, a general name given to the peoples who dwelled in the region of Palestine and spoke Semitic languages. The term Canaan sometimes denoted Phoenicia, home of the famous trading people, and some passages of the Hebrew Old… …   Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary

  • Canaanites — Phénicie Localisation des principaux sites du Levant de la première moitié du Ier millénaire avant J. C. Le territoire de la Phénicie correspond au Liban actuel auquel il faudrait ajouter certaines portions de la Syrie, d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Canaanites — see Phoenicians, Sethos I, Solomon. Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David …   Ancient Egypt

  • CANAANITES —    a civilised race with towns for defence; dependent on agriculture; worshippers of the fertilising powers of nature; and the original inhabitants of Palestine, from which they were never wholly rooted out …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Canaanites — See Canaan …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • CANAANITES —    a Biblical people who occupied CANAAN before the arrival of both the PHILISTINES and the HEBREWS who displaced them through armed conflict. They worshiped a variety of GODS including BAAL and probably practiced CULT prostitution and human… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • canaanites — n. member of a Semitic people which inhabited ancient Canaan; group of Semitic languages spoken in ancient Palestine and Syria …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Canaanites (movement) — The Canaanites is a political and aesthetic movement which reached its peak in the 1940s among the Jewish residents in Palestine and has significantly impacted the course of Israeli art, literature, and spiritual and political thought. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Cana, Canaanites —     Cana, Canaanites     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Cana, Canaanites     (Canaan, Canaanites).     The Hebrew word Kenaan, denoting a person, occurs:     ♦ in the Old Testament as the name of one of Ham s sons;     ♦ in a lengthened form, Kenaanah …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.